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German Navy Officially Accepts ‘Sea Falcon’ Drone Systems

The German Navy has taken delivery of three “Sea Falcon” unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to be integrated with its K130 Braunschweig class corvettes.

Delivered by ESG Elektroniksystem, each system consists of two Skeldar V-200 drones, a ground control station, and maintenance equipment. The contract includes the training of technical and flight personnel and the establishment of a training site.

Delivery and integration of the Sea Falcons are expected to boost the German Navy’s reconnaissance capabilities, especially in detecting and identifying sea targets outside the range of its onboard optical sensors.

Procurement of the drone system is part of the country’s “Reconnaissance and Identification in the Maritime Operational Area” project. The adaptation phase includes a “safety-critical chain” feature to ensure that the aircraft cannot leave an intended area of operation.

“The overall service is provided in cooperation with ESG’s highly committed industrial partners: UMS Skeldar AB as manufacturer and supplier of the aircraft, NVL B.V. & Co. KG as the manufacturer of the corvette and UAS integrator, and CUONICS GmbH as the aviation electronics parts developer and manufacturer,” ESG said in a press release.

Additional Features

The Sea Falcon is a vertical take-off drone with a maximum take-off weight of 235 kilograms (518 pounds). Its 41-kilowatt two-cylinder engine allows the drone to take off and land at wind speeds of up to 46 kilometers (28 miles) per hour.

The system has a maximum speed of 140 kilometers (86 miles) per hour and can operate for up to six hours. Its recorded payload capacity is 40 kilograms (88 pounds).

The Sea Falcon features an observation tower with integrated electro-optical sensors, enabling the navy to significantly increase its capability to spot piracy and arms smuggling at sea during night flights.

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